Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell to headline Nashville tornado benefit concert
Americana singer-songwriters Jason Isbell, Sheryl Crow and Brandi Carlile will headline a benefit concert Monday in Nashville for victims of this week’s tornado that pummeled the country music capital and other parts of Middle Tennessee. They’ll share the bill with maverick singer-songwriter Margo Price, country duo Brothers Osborne, the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, English country-soul singer Yola and indie rock singer-songwriter Sophia Regina Allison, who uses the stage name Soccer Mommy.
The event will take place at the 1800-capacity Marathon Music Works theater in Nashville and is the kickoff event for a new philanthropic fund called To Nashville, With Love.
It’s the first concert fundraiser organized since the tornado struck on Tuesday, killing at least 25 people and inflicting millions of dollars in damage.
“There are so many ways we need to support people and so many people who need support,” Yola said in an interview. “I have so many friends who live in Nashville, and I know so many musicians who have studios in East Nashville and Germantown,” two arts-centric neighborhoods hit particularly hard by the tornado. “Often they don’t get the same level of coverage as what’s going on in north Nashville.”
To Nashville, With Love founder and CEO Charlie Pierce said that funds raised Monday will be dispersed among organizations helping with disaster relief and mental health after tragedy, including the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Red Cross’ Southern Tornadoes and Floods fund and the OnSite Foundation.
Others in Nashville’s music community have stepped forward to help as well, including superstar Taylor Swift, who started her career as a country-pop singer and songwriter. Swift donated $1 million to the Middle Tennessee Emergency Fund this week and urged her 127 million Instagram followers to donate as well.
“Nashville is my home, and the fact that so many people have lost their homes and so much more in Middle Tennessee is devastating to me,” Swift posted to her Instagram account Thursday. She also tweeted a message of sympathy over Twitter.
In another tornado fundraising effort, artist Adrien Saporiti’s red, white and blue stars-and-stripes themed mural “I Believe in Nashville,” painted on the exterior of the Basement East music venue that was nearly destroyed by the tornado, is now being replicated on T-shirts sold for disaster relief.
One wall of the Basement East, however, remained standing — the wall with Saporiti’s mural, which has quickly turned into a popular backdrop for photos shared across social media by survivors and visitors to the devastated area.
Within the first 24 hours, 30,000 T-shirts were sold, raising $350,000, 100% of which is being donated to relief efforts, according to businessman Rich Egan, who represents Saporiti and the mural. Egan is co-founder of L.A.-based emo-punk label Vagrant Records and is co-owner of the Nashville-based management company Hard 8/Working Group.
Based on the early response, a spokeswoman said Egan and his partners have decided to keep selling the shirts through the end of March and continue donating all the proceeds to relief organizations. The shirts are available at nashvilletnstore.com.
Egan spearheaded a similar campaign in 2018 with “I Believe in California” shirts, which raised money for disaster relief after the Woolsey fire killed three people and destroyed more than 1,600 structures in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
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